“And, in the years that followed early intervention, I received holiday cards with updates about taking dance lessons alongside her peers, going through school with them, and, as many years went by, attending college,” Snyder continued.
This is just one of many thousands of stories she could share about why early intervention matters and why practices in the field should be evidence-based.
These experiences, and many more, solidified Snyder’s passion and commitment to this work, becoming a pioneer for embedded instruction and a lifelong advocate for early intervention, for inclusion and for effective practices.
Today, Snyder’s research agenda is as robust as it is enduring. Through an implementation science lens, she is dedicated to improving practices and supports for young children with or at risk of disabilities, their families, and the practitioners from many different disciplines who work with them.
She has been instrumental in developing and gathering evidence for a range of practices in the field, including assessment practices; embedded instruction practices; social-emotional and behavioral practices; evidence-informed professional development practices; and the 3Rs of Early Learning: Relationships, Repetitions, Routines. The field recognizes Embedded Instruction for Early Learning and the Pyramid Model as two frameworks of effective practices for use with all young children. Practice-based coaching, developed by Snyder and her colleagues, is an evidence-based approach designed to support practitioners’ and caregivers’ implementation of effective practices.
Erica McCray, director & associate professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies nominated Snyder for the Kauffman-Hallahan-Pullen Distinguished Research Award, and she was unanimously selected by the committee.
“She is an internationally recognized scholar at the top of her discipline, whose influential scholarship and federally-funded research have transformed the field of early intervention and childhood special education,” McCray said. “I feel fortunate that she and I joined the faculty here at the same time and remain in awe of her relentless pursuit of excellence on behalf of children and families.”
Snyder shared that this award is a career capstone and reiterated the importance of her colleagues with whom she has conducted research and those who have supported her research agenda. Along with her research, Snyder hopes her teaching and service has created a legacy for the students, postdoctoral fellows and younger faculty she has the opportunity to mentor.
“I hope my work inspires the next generation and they will see further — just like I saw further because I stood on the strong shoulders of my mentors,” Snyder said. “They taught me why it was important to do the research we do and to do it well.”